Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Good-Bye To My Father

"Why don't you use the bed,"” Dad asked. He was sitting in a chair, wide awake, and I was sitting in another chair, dozing.

"“Are you kidding? Don'’t you remember what happened to you when Mom was in the hospital?"

Mom was dying from emphysema and found it more comfortable to be in a chair, propped up against the hospital desk/tray. She could breath more easily. I'd insisted that Dad use the bed and get some sleep. During the night, I woke up and found a nurse about to give my Dad an injection! Wait --– wrong patient!

Dad and I laughed at the memory of that story.

Maybe she wasn'’t trying to give him an injection. Maybe the nurse was just standing there trying to figure out who the patient was -- but over the years it made a better story to have the nurse holding hyperdermic, swabbing Dad's arm with alcohol.

"“You know," Dad said, "you and I stayed in that hospital for days. Then you and I went home for a night'’s sleep and your mother died before we got to the house."”

"“I'’ve always thought she decided she didn'’t want us to endure her death with her,"I said. It was something we'd talked about several times over the years.

There was a long silence.

"“Why don'’t you go on home, son. You'’ve got things to do at your church."

"“You want me to go home so you can die?"” -- no, I didn'’t say that. I thought it. Instead I said, "“You want me to go home?"”

"Your niece is taking some time off work, and she and her husband can be here. Go home, and buy your son a suit. I don'’t want him to look like a bum at his Grandfather'’s funeral. And call your nephew. Tell him to get ready to fly down from Chicago. It won't be but a few more days."”

We continue to talk openly and frankly.

Calmly.

And after a while silence sets in.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Revmom/cheesehead said...

My prayers for you and for all who love your father...

9:38 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

I was afraid all through my childhood of losing my father. Then, as an adult, nearly every day I would ask' is this the last day?' It finally happened a year ago but I count it as a blessing to have had him for as long as I did. I sympathize with you and your family and believe your faith makes you stronger than most.

1:09 PM  
Blogger the reverend mommy said...

Prayers again are with you tonight.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

What a heart-felt post. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. My prayers are with you and your family.

4:27 PM  

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